In March, I got into the Chicago Marathon through the lottery.
In July, I decided not to run the Chicago Marathon because I wanted to be a very professional, responsible first year law student -- one that does not go galavanting off to Chi-town at mid term to celebrate masochism with 20,000 people in Grant Park. "That would be a bad idea," I said. "So I will not do it." Then I ate an apple. Apples are what responsible people eat.
Three weeks ago, I re-decided to run the Chicago Marathon. "That would be a bad idea," I said. "It's five weeks away," I said.
"So should I fly into O'hare on Friday, or Saturday?" I pondered.
Law school changes the way you think.
There are things in life you should not do. I am not advising anyone to run marathons on the fly. It's not smart. So here's how to do it:
2. Run some. Like go out Saturday morning and just run 20 miles. Don't get up at 5am and do it in the cool morning air. Get up at 8:45, have a leisurely coffee and some carrots, and then start running at 10:15, under the electric sun. Come back, shower, limp around and make a spectacular breakfast. Create a waffle to celebrate your waffling back and forth about major decisions. Have a Clif Bar because you're starving again an hour later. You just ran 20 miles. Congratulations. Pass out.
3. Then, don't run for a another four days. You don't have time. You have to study for Law Scowl. You are a responsible law student, remember? Outline and brief like a mofo. Read the Blue Book. Cite things. Read the UCC. Fall asleep dying a slow death of restatements. Get excited about negligence – it's all about failing to do the reasonable thing, and you can relate to that. Relate, runner. Relate. Think like a lawyer and apply the Learned Hand Test to this situation: If the burden of training properly for a marathon that is three weeks away is higher (>) than the possible gravity of damages (x) the probability that those damages will occur, (=) change nothing about your behavior. Pack your bags for Chicago. Have a Jolly Rancher. Maybe four.
Running, for me, has never been about personal records or age group statistics. It's always been about having the most heightened experience possible, and then writing about it. This should be one for the books. See you soon, Chicago!
Disclaimer: The carrot industry has not sponsored this blog post. No carrots were harmed during this writing. If you decide to wing-a-marathon, do it your own screwy way and don't sue me for negligence, because I'll counter-sue you for exploiting my likeness to advertise awesomeness - BOOM.
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